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March 7th saw the announcement of Apple’s newest iPad, named simply “New iPad”. A departure from tradition, this marks Apple’s decision to discontinue a numerical model, instead focusing on refreshing the model on an assumed yearly basis. This is similar to the iPod line, where instead of numbers, the generation or year is used. Speculation has started that Apple may decide to introdudce this naming scheme for their newest iPhone. But enough on the name, what was all the hype about?
The New iPad’s most striking feature is its Retina display, a crystal-clear 2048 x 1536 pixels, totaling for over 3.1 million pixels. To put this into understandable terms, your HD 1080p television has a resolution of 1920 x 1080. So the iPad’s screen now has a better resolution than your TV, all packed into a 9.7″ screen. And the fun doesn’t stop there.
What’s under the hood? Apple needed some more muscle to power such a pixel-intensive screen, so they upgraded the internals to Apple’s A5X chip. This means quad-core graphics for blistering speeds. 4G LTE is also a new feature, offering a significant bump in using Verizon or AT&T’s 4G LTE networks. This means faster downloads and streaming speeds. Apple’s finally allowing you to use your iPad as a mobile hotspot now, providing wireless internet to your friends, if your carrier allows it.
So you like to take pictures and video? Apple’s got you covered. Continuing their obsession for assigning creative names to features such as the “Retina” screen, the new iPad will have five-megapixel iSight (see what they did there?) camera, very similar to the one found in the iPhone 4S. This will also shoot 1080p video.
Keeping the same battery life (10 hours wifi, 9 hours 4G LTE), and pricing scheme ($499 +), you can enjoy all of the new iPad’s new features without having to plug it in, or empty your wallet (somewhat). Pre-orders are live, but if you want to hold one on March 16th, you might want to line up, Apple’s site is showing delayed shipping for online models. We’ll continue to review the new iPad (I managed to snag a pre-order due to arrive March 16th). What do you think? Are the new features enough of an upgrade, or were you expecting more? Let us know in the comments below!